With an impressive 30 million+ players, 26 playable heroes and more on the way, a whole host of different play modes, and a consistent development team that brings new additions to the title every few weeks, Overwatch is undoubtedly one of the most-loved video games on the planet right now.
Despite being originally released over a year ago for Microsoft Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, the team-based online multiplayer game seems to be going stronger than ever thanks to the passion poured into it by the Blizzard Entertainment team.
Whether players are getting their fix by playing the game online with their friends or enjoying the copious amounts of lore and history that has been written up for all of the game’s various characters and locations, Overwatch is a consistent entertainer for all those who have decided to jump head first into it.
With all of that in mind, we’ve decided to go one step further and look at all of the things just a small minority of players know they can get up to in Overwatch and the extended community.
Here are the 15 Things You NEVER Knew You Could Do In Overwatch.
15 Use Enemy Shields For Delayed Hanzo Headshots
This is one of Overwatch’s best kept secrets, and while we’re all for Hanzo’s incredible attack power being nerfed in the near future, why not capitalize on some of his sneakier abilities while we can?
We’ve all been in that annoying position where we’ve had a headshot perfectly lined up, only for the enemy Zarya, Winston, Reinhardt, or Orisa to throw up a shield and ruin our moment. With Hanzo’s Sonar Arrow, however, all of that can be averted if you line up a fully-charged shot into the shield.
Once the shield drops, if someone remains under where the arrow landed, it’ll drop onto them as if it had just been sent flying from Hanzo’s bow, delivering full damage to whichever area it hits. Get into a custom game with a friend and try it out for yourself-- it has to be seen to be believed.
14 Cancel Mid-Flight Mercy
If you’ve ever been stuck playing Mercy for a while, then you’ll probably know how frustrating it is to use your Guardian Angel ability, only to realize that the player you’re flying towards is going to die before you can get to them because they’re being attacked by multiple members of the opposing team.
Floating towards them, it seems as if you've made the wrong split-second decision and you’ll be joining your now-dead ally on the ground when you reach them, but that doesn’t always have to be the case...
What many people don’t know is that you can press the button for Mercy’s Guardian Angel ability again mid-flight, sending you crashing to the ground before reaching your ally so you can manoeuvre your way out from danger. It’s a handy ability that can save a player’s life on multiple occasions.
13 Extend Past The Payload On Defense
When it comes to defending on a payload map, it’s hard to imagine trying to get in position anywhere but the payload itself once the opposing team has started pushing it towards their objective.
What many don’t realize, however, is that the payload will move itself backwards if none of the attacking team are near it. No defenders need to be "on" the payload to initiate its reverse.
This comes in handy when defenders have enjoyed a "Team Kill," as it means they can run towards the enemy team’s spawn and try and keep them away from the payload altogether. Just remember to keep an eye out for dive heroes, such as Sombra, Genji, and Tracer, who can quickly zip back to the payload and push it forward on its journey.
12 Create A Symmetra Basketball Of Doom
Symmetra’s turrets can often be a game-changer when taking down enemies attacking a point that your team is defending, but what many don’t know is that the Vishkar member can turn a basketball into a deadly weapon with a couple of her handy turrets.
Two or even three turrets can be placed on a basketball, and with Symmetra’s Photon Projector, the hero can lift the basketball into the air and move it towards enemies, forcing her turrets to unleash their devastation upon them.
Honestly, this isn’t the most practical trick, but joining a custom game to give it a try is certainly a lot of fun. Unfortunately for PC players, this now only works on consoles, and players will quickly learn that any the turrets that collide with the floor or with a wall will be destroyed and knocked off the ball.
11 Simply Glide To Safety As Mercy From Point A In Numbani
Mercy is one of Overwatch’s most versatile characters-- especially because of her recent overhaul. Perhaps her most useful ability, however, is a passive one that’s been with her ever since her initial conception. In fact, this ability can even be used to get out of a very sticky situation in Numbani.
Climb the steps to the side of the first point, before hopping onto a piece of the fencing that’s designed to stop you from walking off the edge of the map. Once there, jump into the air and press forward, making sure to use Mercy’s Angelic Descent ability as you fly across and around the side of the map to a small stump of grass that pokes out and allows the hero to gracefully land in safety if being attacked by a bunch of enemies following an unsuccessful defense.
Just make sure there’s no angry D.Va or Pharah on your tail…
10 Pick Up Enemy Corpses With Symmetra’s Weapon
Snooty Symmetra is an incredibly memorable Overwatch character, no matter what you think of her. Sometimes she’s ironically funny, while other times she’s downright hilarious on purpose.
One of the best things she can do with her enemies, however, doesn’t come when she’s fighting against them, but when she’s taken them out. Say you’re attacking point B on Hanamura, and you happen to find yourself on the ledge outside. Once you’ve killed an enemy, you can use Symmetra’s Photon Projector to lift their corpse up off the ground and throw it over the edge.
It doesn’t do anything to further advance your team or the game, but it’s definitely better than the usual tea-bagging that tends to take place when an in-game rivalry is formed.
9 Cancel Certain Animations With Button Combos
Some people frown on players who use animation canceling, as it’s seen as exploiting a bug of the game to advance your gameplay. Others would argue that, just because it’s something everybody can do if they press the right combination of buttons, it’s fair game if it’s used in Quick Play, Competitive, Arcade and so on.
Whilst developers have worked hard to fix many of the animation cancelations we’ve seen throughout the past, there are some that remain in the game and don’t show any sign of disappearing.
Genji, for example, can use his Dragonblade Ultimate, but cancel his sheathing animation by wall climbing or dashing. Then there’s Sombra, who can throw her Translocator and use her Stealth ability and Teleport at the same time to cancel her Stealth animation.
These are just two of the many animation cancels available, but learning exactly how to pull them off is an art. Get in a custom game and get practicing.
8 Get Healed By The Payload On Attack
One of the simplest things that anybody can do when attacking on a payload map is jump on the payload for heals whenever a battle dies down, or when a health pack isn’t close enough to pick up before jumping right back into the action.
The payload will only heal attackers and will only increase the health of those on it if it’s moving towards its objective. This means that, if somebody is contesting on the payload, it won’t serve as a healing device for attackers until those contesting have been disposed of.
It may sound simple, but this is something a lot of players don’t actually know they can do. So stop hammering your healer for heals when they’re busy and jump on the payload to up your HP.
7 Stand On Your Enemies
This is another one that’s fairly simple to understand once you’ve got the hang of it. It is also something that very few people who play Overwatch actually know.
Standing on an enemy player when you’re above them and they haven’t spotted you is a great way to throw their play off balance for a couple of seconds, allowing you to launch a surprise attack not only on them but also on their teammates. It’s not something you can do in every game, but when the opportunity presents itself, it’s good to know that the option is there.
Of course, in a custom game you could team up with some friends, join opposing teams, and make huge player towers if you’re tired of slaughtering opponents.
6 Purchase Old Seasonal Skins For Normal Prices
Earlier this year, the developers for Overwatch decided that, for the second Summer Games event they held, all of the seasonal skins (and other seasonal items) that were available the year before would be available once more at reduced prices.
This means that, instead of paying the usual 3,000 coins for a legendary seasonal skin, the skins from 12 months prior would cost the usual 1,000 coins. For players who were patient enough to wait a year before getting their hands on their favourite event skins, this could mean that they now have a lot of saved coins to spend on other items.
There is also now an opportunity to buy all of the old items and increase the odds of getting the new seasonal items from Loot Boxes. Developers recently changed the Loot Box algorithm so that, when opening a box, the player now has a higher chance of getting new items rather than duplicates.
This means that you could spend 1,000 coins on the seasonal skin you missed out on last year and then get a 3,000 coin value seasonal skin this year.
5 Go Searching For Real-Life Movie References
There are a whole heap of Easter eggs littered throughout Overwatch, but some of the best include references to movies and television. Genji’s spray "Target Practice" for example is a direct nod to the much-loved anime Naruto. The show also gets some love in the defense spawn of Hanamura, where a jacket resembling that of the titular characters can be found.
The Incredible Hulk gets a nod from Winston who warns his foes with “Don’t get me angry,” and Mei reminds everybody of her icy background with a Frozen reference when she tells her enemies: “You have to let it go.” Even Marilyn Monroe’s famous film Some Like It Hot is parodied inside the spawn area for attackers in Hollywood, with a movie poster reading Some Like It Bot.
There are many references in Overwatch, that listing them all would honestly take the fun out of searching for them. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears alert, and you’ll start picking up on ones you may have missed in no time at all.
4 Discover Certain Character’s Dark History
When Overwatch released their latest animated short Rise and Shine at the end of August, not many were prepared for the dark past that was revealed for beloved hero Mei. Cryogenically frozen alongside some of her closest companions, she woke up to find that all those who had been frozen with her had passed away due to a major malfunction. She was the only survivor after spending nine years frozen in a very icy morgue.
Lucio is a character whose background hasn’t yet been explicitly stated in the game or in a short, but his history has been hinted at with voice lines that he triggers when he’s on a team with Symmetra. It’s understood that Symmetra and the Vishkar Corporation took over Lucio’s hometown, oppressing those who lived there in order to “perfect” and “bring harmony” to the area.
Lucio retaliated against the operation, stealing Vishkar’s technology and created his Sonic Amplifier, before leading a revolution and forcing Vishkar to retreat. Lucio sees Symmetra as a symbol of oppression, whilst she sees him as a petty thief and criminal. It's an interesting relationship that we’ll likely see more of in the near future.
3 Watch A Mech Doing ‘The Robot’ In Volskaya Industries
Developer Jeff Kaplan may have given the game away when he told players that there was a rare dancing robot in the background of Volskaya Industries, but that doesn’t make this any less exciting when you see the big fella getting its groove on for the first time.
If you’ve never seen the robot before and want to see them for yourself, head to the point of the map that is first being defended, using a hero who can zoom in with their weapon, such as Ana or Widowmaker.
Once there, go to the grating behind point A and zoom into the buildings in the distance. It won’t take you long from there to see just which of the robots is enjoying itself a little too much…
2 Use The Konami Code For A Special Treat
Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start is the Konami Code known to millions across the globe. It was first used in 1986 following the release of Gradius on the NES, and was replicated in many games by the publisher in releases that came after for special treats and bonuses.
Popularized by players in North America, it’s used right up to this day for a number of different things, and can be entered online at the official Blizzard website for a special D.Va-related surprise.
Make sure you’ve got your sound on when you use it and it’ll be raining D.Vas in no time, with the cheeky South Korean quoting the code right back to you. Use your arrows for the directional commands, the A and B on your keyboard, and the Enter button for Start.
1 Make Junkrat And Roadhog Clap Hands With Their Dance Emotes
When Overwatch turned a year old, developers decided to celebrate with an official anniversary event that brought new skins, emotes, voice lines, player icons, and sprays. Each of the heroes were given dance emotes to use in-game, but two in particular seemed to fit together extremely well.
Fans of the game know Junkrat and Roadhog as a formidable criminal duo who enjoy the thrill of chaos more than anything else in the world. Except for, perhaps, dancing. When timed correctly and standing together, the pair can use their dance emotes to sync up and clap their hands against one another.
This is a cute little Easter egg that’ll bring a smile to the face of anybody watching. Hats off to the animation team for being so inventive.
Can you think of any other secret things you can do in Overwatch? Let us know in the comments!